Samsung launches Galaxy Note tablet in major markets

Samsung Electronics launched its new Galaxy Note tablet in three major markets yesterday in hope of a stylus-type pen and split-screen function would make the new device stand apart from rival Apple Inc's iPad.

The company, accused of copycat design and features on lines of Apple's iPad and iPhone, said the Galaxy Note 10.1 would be a "game changer" from rival tablets, on which users usually viewed one application at a time.

The device has the ability to run two active apps on a split-screen, while an 'S-Pen' is touted as a solution to problems with the tablet and smart-phones' sometimes clunky keyboard and input functions.

Analysts, however, were not convinced about the device's ability to make a dent in Apple's huge lead in the tablet market given plans to price it at $499 for 16 GB of memory and WiFi-only - the same as the iPad.

According to Marc Chacksfield, deputy editor at British tech website TechRadar, while the new tablet offered a number of positive features, it felt cheaper in the hand than the iPad and a price on par with the Apple product might not win buyers.

"Couple this with an influx of low-priced Android tablets entering the market (headed by the Google Nexus 7) and Samsung may struggle to compete," he said in an email to Reuters.